WCPW hit the road again as Edinburgh played host to their latest show – a self-styled tribute show for their new world champion Joe Hendry.
Before WCPW headed to Canada for their World Cup Canadian qualifiers, we saw Joe Hendry win a rather unsettling match to beat Martin Kirby via ref stoppage for the WCPW title… so just like how Martin Kirby had Kirbymania, we’ve got a similar show – where the two would meet again in a rematch. Bad weather led to internet issues in Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Sports Centre meant that the sound quality here is a little off, to the point where anything loud created almost unlistenable levels of distortion – something that you’d perhaps understand on a live iPPV, but not when you’re watching on-demand almost a week later!
We’re taken live into the arena, with Dave Bradshaw on commentary… there’s thankfully no Matt Striker here as “Joe Hendry’s banned him”. So apparently Bradshaw’s flying solo. With a spare headset. Uh-huh. The show opens with Joe Hendry coming down to the ring for a talking segment, which was just a joy with all this distortion. Hendry claims that WCPW’s GM Adam Blampied isn’t here, so he’s in charge…
Hendry buries his hometown for cheap heat, then tells us that he’d banned Striker because of his “biased” commentary. Awful may have been the better reason. Instead, we’ve got James R. Kennedy out, as he needs something to do after the Prospect angle ended. Out next is Adam Cleary, WhatCulture’s PR guy, and he looks suitably petrified as Hendry puts him over for his hard work for this sort of production.
On this show… that’s not a compliment, I’m afraid!
This turns into Hendry tearing into Cleary for a lack of balloons or streamers, who’s then slapped as Hendry demands cheers… and doesn’t get them. We get a video package as Hendry “inducts himself” into the WCPW Hall of Fame. Yeah, this segment was just a massive waste of time.
Fifteen minutes in, we finally get to something resembling wrestling!
Drake vs. Sha Samuels
With singles wins against Alex Gracie and Gabriel Kidd, it’s fair to say that Drake is WCPW’s designated jobber to the stars. So you’d expect that Sha Samuels – and his “Parklife” rip-off theme – would have an easy time of it here.
The internet issues mean that the video’s hardly as smooth as usual, but we do get to see Sha drop Drake with a slam for a near-fall in the opening minutes. Sha crashes and burns as he leapt off the middle rope, allowing Drake to choke him in the ropes, and all of a sudden someone’s leant on the volume slider as we go really quiet. Sha hits back with a spinebuster, before squashing Drake with an avalanche… and yes, babyface Sha is a weird sight to behold. A Michinoku driver gets a near-fall, only for Drake to surprise Sha with a bridging German suplex that almost won it.
Drake rips off a turnbuckle in disgust, which allows him to head outside to grab a monkey wrench – which he left under the ring since he’s ring crew – and that’s enough for Drake to get the upset. The indifference from the crowd to that result was palpable, it had to be said. **
They aired the video regarding Loaded’s cancellation and subsequent fall-out – which is a bit of a weird video to play in front of a live crowd.
Glaswegian Culture (Kid Fite & Lou King Sharp) vs. Prospect (Lucas Archer & Alex Gracie)
The audio’s stopped as Fite and Sharp – whose entrance video is basically their names in the fonts used for Payback and Grand Theft Auto respectively – experience technical issues. It’s the theme for tonight!
Last time WCPW were in Edinburgh, these two were promoted… and ended up on a dark match as “plans changed”.
Prospect were out in kilts for the cheap pop, and they eventually get underway after the Scotsmen tried to cheapshot from a handshake, only to get sent to the outside. During this match Dave Bradshaw announced that Dave Mastiff, Scott Wainwright and Mark Davis weren’t at the show due to weather issues. I’m not sure why they even mentioned Davis, because he wasn’t advertised for a match on the show. Does that mean that Dave Bradshaw is commentary’s answer to Ron Burgundy?
In the midst of that, Archer flies with a plancha onto the Glaswegians, before taking down Kid Fite with a Bronco Buster. Lou King Sharp breaks that up, but referee Sean McLaughlin decides to join in and throws in a Bronco Buster to Fite as well. Sharp takes a drop toe hold into Fite’s groin, before Sharp gets several kicks in the arse.
Kid Fite makes a comeback by kicking out Lucas Archer’s leg out of his leg, allowing Sharpe to choke him on the outside, which somehow led to Archer bleeding from his head. The Scotsmen utilise some standard heel tactics to goad Alex Gracie into the ring – but that just leaves Archer in the ring by himself to take more and more punishment. Eventually Archer gets the tag to Gracie, who storms in with a big boot before an avalanche on Sharp sent the little one down. A sliding sidewalk slam takes down Fite as Prospect look to finish things off, but Fite ends up crotching Archer on the top rope as Fite and Gracie go back and forth with punches.
Lou King Sharp gets a near-fall from a death valley driver by Fite, before he’s powerbombed into Archer in the corner. Somehow Gracie countered a double suplex into a pair of neckbreakers, before rushing into an Unprettier as Gracie was able to pin Sharp. A rather rushed finish, but a decent TV match between a pair of what you could say are WCPW’s lower-ranked teams. **½
Or perhaps I should say “were”? After the match, Archer gets the microphone and puts over Gracie as his best friend, before revealing a secret… ongoing knee injuries were forcing Archer into at least temporary retirement. Unfortunately James Kennedy’s heel comments kinda ruined this as he laughed over it… making people think this was “just an angle”. Prospect’s getting one more match at this weekend’s “Fight Back” show as they’ve been entered into a number one contender’s gauntlet for the WCPW tag team titles. Or perhaps a second if they end up getting the tag title shots later in the month.
A touching almost-farewell – but of course, they had to tarnish it with the heel commentary.
Due to the pull-outs, Ligero vs. Mastiff was being replaced by Ligero vs. Speedball Mike Bailey, whilst the previously-advertised hardcore three-way was now going to be a singles match.
El Ligero vs. Mike Bailey
Not sure who was picking camera angles here, but someone thought it’d be a bright idea to show an angle of the entranceway that highlighted a block of empty seats. It wasn’t quite 5* Wrestling “nothing in the aisle”, but there’s been better ways of bunching fans together!
Anyway, we get going as both men respectfully take the other to the ropes for some clean breaks, as Ligero showed off his Mario-inspired ring gear with some good ground wrestling. Ligero goes all Zack Sabre Jr on us, wrenching away on Bailey’s wrist and fingers, only for “Speedball” to escape and keep the match on the mat.
Just like that, a switch is flicked as Bailey starts flipping, landing a dropkick to take Ligero to the outside, only for Ligero to sweep the leg and send Bailey onto the apron hard – seemingly damaging his nose in the process. Back inside, the pair trade chops, before heading around the ringside area as Ligero continued to push the issue.
Bailey responds by swinging for the fences with his kicks, connecting with a big boot to Ligero before charging into the corner with a step-up kick as Bailey did what he did best. A third one misses, only for Bailey to come back with a roundhouse kick and escape a Sliced Bread and hit one of his own to almost snatch the win! Ligero rebounded with a Code Red for another near-fall, all whilst James Kennedy harped on about “management expertise” being “hit another move and win”. I can see why Prospect were kayfabe useless under him… Bailey wins out a striking battle with some kicks, before catching the C4L and eventually springing back into a PK to take the masked man down.
The pace stays high as Ligero hits a cannonball off the apron to Bailey on the floor, but Speedball returns the favour with a Golden Triangle moonsault as Ligero took too long to recover. Bailey keeps up with some big boots, then those cavalcade of kicks to rock Ligero, who somehow found enough to drop Bailey with a Destroyer. Again, Ligero takes too long to follow-up as he’s dropped with an enziguiri on the top rope, but Ligero drops him with a front suplex as a set-up for a Mexican Wave that Bailey kicked out of at the last possible moment.
Ligero tries to end things from there, but his attempt at a C4L is blocked with a superkick, before Bailey landed some shooting star knees for the win! A really good back-and-forth outing between two guys who were put in an awkward spot… and delivered big time, albeit in front of a crowd that at times didn’t seem to know who Bailey was. I’m not sure what a loss for Ligero will do, but given how infrequent WCPW are running (comparatively) these days, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. At least the crowd didn’t do the Bayley chants! ****
We’re taken backstage now, where Martina’s having trouble getting into the building. She manages to get in, and makes a beeline for the gents toilets, where she tells us she’s going for Bea Priestley’s women’s title.
Hardcore match: Bad Bones vs. Primate
With no Scott Wainwright, this is just going to be one-on-one, complete with James Kennedy on commentary bemoaning how Primate “left him”. Bones just jumps Primate with a baseball bat at the bell, before taking Primate outside… where he whips him so hard the guard railing shot up off the floor.
Bones then sets up some of the guard railings – from an unoccupied section of the crowd – to create a “bridge” from the ring, before swinging and missing with a baseball bat as Primate took over. Primate jams a chair into Bones’ throat, then tries for a superplex onto an open chair, but instead he’s shoved off as Bones dropkicked Primate out of said chair. More plunder comes in the form of a trash can, which sadly didn’t get rid of James Kennedy as he was too busy whining about losing Primate to that guy in a crown, along with more chairs. Which Bones sets up on top of each other, then onto its side for his trademark painful landing zone… which he takes as Wrestling Logic took over!
Despite taking a German suplex onto the side of two chairs, Bones kicked out at two, before he was placed upside down in a bin for a sliding dropkick into the corner. A broom’s used on said bin for another near-fall, before Primate delivered an overhead belly-to-belly superplex through some chairs and the bin as Bones yet again kicked out.
All these bumps, so little reaction from the Edinburgh crowd…
Bones comes back by superkicking a chair through Primate, then flies with an impressive tope for someone who was thrown onto the sides of some chairs earlier, as Bones then pulls out a keyboard from under the ring. That’s gotta be an in-joke about someone being a keyboard warrior, eh? Someone apparently filled it with talcum powder as a cloud of something flew up when it hit Primate’s head, but Primate responds by spearing Bones through that crowd barrier bridge, then again in the ring for the win. Well, the bumps were impressively scary, but that’s a match that’s going to shorten both these guys careers… for little reaction. **
Viper vs. Martina
Before the match, Viper declared herself the “Gatekeeper” of the WCPW women’s division, in response to Martina’s wish to get a title shot.
We also see Viper wedging a can of deodorant between the apron and the canvas as Martina tried to figure out the best way to approach her Scottish foe. She tried dancing, and it just got her some forearms before a spray of deodorant to the eyes got Viper a near-fall. Viper then gets the beer, but Martina saves it and downs a mouthful, only to get caught with a death valley driver and a back senton, as Viper collected another near-fall with a crossbody.
Martina gets another comeback in when she sprayed beer into Viper’s face, as a crossbody off the top rope earned her a near-fall. The Bronco Buster hits at the second attempt after a missed cannonball by Viper left her trapped there, before a spot of Tug of War over that deodorant can led to the referee getting accidentally sprayed… even though the spray went nowhere near him! With the referee blinded, Viper sprays more beer in Martina’s face lands a Michinoku driver, and that’s enough for the win. This was alright, but the dead crowd really hurt the match… although Martina did get some chants after the match, so maybe it’s just bad production values? **
We get a video package recapping Gabriel Kidd’s Internet title win, and that’s a set-up for our next match…
WCPW Internet Championship: Kenny Williams vs. Gabriel Kidd (c)
Gabriel Kidd still doesn’t have his old, or indeed, his own music or entrance video, which kinda feels lazy given that he’s supposedly free of the servitude of Prince Ameen. And has been for ages.
Kidd, whose ring gear seems to be modelled on classic Ric Flair, originally found himself on the back foot as Williams trapped him with an armbar on the mat before the favour was returned. Both guys tried to cheapshot each other, which led to a lot of hopping as they caught a kick, before Williams blocked a dive from Kidd with a kick.
Williams tries a dive after Kidd rolled to the other side of the ring, but that diving dropkick’s avoided…and both men play cat and mouse as they avoid the ring at all costs. When they did return, they exploded back into action as Kidd landed a lariat, before some back-and-forth shots ended with Williams delivering a knee strike. Kidd instantly responds with a Falcon arrow for a near-fall, before picking up Williams out of a headlock and dumping him face-down on the mat. The tempo shot up again as Williams took Kidd outside for a tope, before he flew again with a back elbow off the top rope for a near-fall as Kidd was limited to scoring near-falls with roll-ups.
A hammerlock’d flatliner saw Williams come even closer, as does a satellite DDT, as Williams grabs the Internet title belt… he was going to whack Kidd with it, but changed his mind, and wandered into a small package as Kidd retained. That sure says a lot, when your champion is barely defeating a guy who’s not a regular on the roster… This match was alright, but with the crowd behind Williams and barely registering for Kidd, the atmosphere was just odd. As it has been all night. ***¼
Joe Coffey vs. Rampage
Coffey’s keeping up that Travelodge card gimmick, and tonight it seems he’s providing the resistance for Rampage’s path to the WCPW title.
We have a slow start as the pair went at it with shoulder blocks and chops, before a savate kick from Rampage sent Coffey to the floor. Rampage followed him out there, where he’s backdropped over the crowd barriers and into where there would be some fans, before taunting the crowd with a dive as Coffey just rolled into the ring instead. They head back outside again where they trade more shoulder blocks, with Rampage winning out there. Back in the ring, he tries for a piledriver, only to get a dropkick as Coffey escaped, and that’s where Coffey recovered, stomping on Rampage’s back as a set-up for the room key-assisted camel clutch.
Rampage tries a comeback, as he and Coffey exchange clotheslines in the corner, before Rampage ducked under a crossbody as Coffey looked to crash and burn. Coffey sells the knee, to the point where the referee holds up the dreaded X-sign, and out comes Adam Clery – headset and all – and a medic to check on the injury. They’ve already had a precedent with Martin Kirby (and that match not being stopped), and after Coffey’s helped to his feet, he pounces into life as he’d been faking it all along.
From there, Coffey targets Rampage’s arm before setting up for a Superman Punch – with Roman Reigns mannerisms and all (as the crowd reacted for one of the first times in the match)… but Rampage took a long time getting back up before taking that punch. The punch is only good for a two-count, so he tried it again, only to get caught by Rampage’s uranage, as Rampage threw in a spinebuster as well for a near-fall.
A Samoan drop follows from Rampage, who hooked the leg at the last minute as Coffey barely kicked out, before the Scotsman tried to escape out of a piledriver. Eventually a backdrop out of it led to a slingshot into the corner as Rampage found himself on the defensive briefly… nonchalantly sidestepping a corner charge before taking the step-up crossbody off the top rope. Rampage boots away an attempt at the Black Coffey discus lariat, then pulled Coffey off the top rope into a piledriver as that proved to be enough to seal the win. Another decent match, but whether it because of injury, the setting or whatever, this felt like they were at half-speed at times. They’ve definitely had better matches against each other. ***
Ahead of the main event we get a video package “that definitely wasn’t on the format”… it’s a video-game inspired video for Martin Kirby, who was taking a shot at Joe Hendry always “pissing and moaning” to get title shots. This segues into Martin Kirby’s “Quest for the Title”, which is the Kirby story in WCPW so far. Complete with the smaller, brighter ring and his title win at No Regrets in April. But no mention of him losing…
WCPW World Championship: Martin Kirby vs. Joe Hendry (c)
So the angle here is that Kirby’s looking to get the title back after he lost it via ref stoppage last month in that match that was really uncomfortable to watch.
Kirby leapt into Hendry during the introductions, raining down forearms on the champion, who responded in kind before he’s clotheslined to the outside for a tope from Kirby! Hendry gets chopped around the ringside area, but Hendry responds by raking Kirby’s eyes before grabbing his title belt and walking out…
Of course, Kirby gave chase, but the cameraman doesn’t follow them backstage… thankfully Kirby throws him back into the aisle for some right hands, before they wandered over to the commentary table as Kirby spits some water at the champion. Hendry then slipped on some non-existent water, as he’s then thrown into the crowd as the pair wander through the arena, ending with Martin Kirby running from one side of the building to the other… all for a shoulder tackle!
Hendry responds by slamming him on the floor, before his attempt at a shoulder charge ended with a kick to the gut after Hendry’d run across the room. They remain in the crowd as they wander up through the seats, as Kirby tried to suplex Hendry down the stairs. Thankfully it didn’t come off as Hendry headbutted free, before rolling Kirby down the stairs instead. The crowd explodes as Kirby hit a double axehandle off of the steps and onto Hendry on the floor as they slowly headed back to the ring. When they did, Hendry begged off as Kirby flew back into action with a forearm, only for a clothesline to cut him off with some gusto. Again Hendry kept fighting back, but he was caught with a headstand into a ‘rana off the top rope by Kirby that again woke up the crowd.
Kirby goes for a superkick – and stopped short of the referee. Hendry did not though, as his clothesline wiped out the official, which allowed for Joe Coffey to run in with a belt shot as Kirby went for his Sable bomb… and that was enough for Hendry to get the pin to bring a rather underwhelming main event to a close. Take out the crowd brawling, and this was nothing. **¾
After the match, Hendry and Coffey put the boots to Kirby some more, before Rampage ran out to make the save. That then was the cue for Adam Blampied – who was announced as not being here – to make an appearance and a bad joke, before booking a street fight/last man standing match between Hendry and Kirby on the Fight Back show… with an added stipulation, that if Prestige appeared at ringside, Hendry’d automatically lose the match, and the title!
Coming on the back of WCPW cancelling their “Loaded” show due to YouTube’s policy changes, WCPW has felt like they’ve been caught on the back foot, which has led to some weird creative. For instance, this show here was the first non-World Cup show since Hendry won the title, yet he’d already been “granted” a celebratory show a la Martin Kirby back in January.
I don’t watch every single video or read every single tweet that WCPW puts out, so I don’t know what the reason given behind the GM granting this show was. Or indeed, why the Prestige were down to two members (Travis Banks was in London for PROGRESS’ Super Strong Style 16 weekender, but BT Gunn wasn’t booked anywhere else).
As a show, this was a weird one to watch, perhaps down to the weather, as the crowd struggled to get invested in the matches. That seemed to pass across to the guys in the ring, which left us with a show that was eminently skippable, save for the hastily-arranged Ligero/Bailey match, which ended up being by far the best thing on this card. With Loaded still on hiatus, I’m hoping that WCPW are able to retool their plans – retaining their long-game without the need for fans to have to “fill in the blanks” like we had to tonight with the whole “why’s the champion got a tribute show?” gimmick. Still, at least we didn’t have Matt Striker on commentary, which is always a positive!